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May 17, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - Former Penn State standout Franco Harris has been selected the Big Ten Club of Southern California's Person of the Year for 2010.
Harris will join a prestigious list of previous Person of the Year recipients by the Big Ten Club, which was founded in 1933. The event will take place Wednesday, May 19 at the Tournament of Roses' Wrigley Mansion in Pasadena.
The Big Ten Club of Southern California has selected a Person of the Year since 1985, when Olympic gold medal swimmer Mark Spitz was the first recipient. Among some of the other recipients are: Bob Hope, Archie Griffin, Jim Delany, Keith Jackson, Hayden Fry and Drew Brees.
Harris played a significant role in the Nittany Lions' 29-4 mark from 1969-71, teaming with Lydell Mitchell to form one of the nation's top running back tandems. Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 12 overall pick of the 1972 NFL Draft, Harris teamed with former Penn State teammate Jack Ham to bring four Super Bowl titles to Pittsburgh.
The Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl IX, Harris was selected to nine Pro Bowls during his tremendous 13-year NFL career. He topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark in eight seasons and joined Ham on the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1970's. Harris spent 12 seasons with the Steelers and finished his career with Seattle in 1984. His "Immaculate Reception" in the final seconds of the 1972 AFC playoff game against the Oakland Raiders is arguably the greatest individual play in NFL history.
A 1972 Penn State graduate, Harris established Super Bakery after his playing career ended with the goal of making it The Leader in Bakery Nutrition. His products, Super Donuts® and Super Buns®, are sold to school systems across America, providing nutrition to millions of students each year, and are available in retail stores. Harris is President/Owner of Super Bakery.
Harris also is a long-time supporter of Special Olympics. The day after the Blue-White Game last month, he greeted the more than 800 runners and walkers in the inaugural Beaver Stadium Run as they entered the south tunnel of Beaver Stadium and made their way to the finish line. The event raised more than $35,000 for Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Harris also served as the honorary chair for the first Special Olympics Pennsylvania state Summer Games, held annually on Penn State's University Park campus.